Puppet Labs acquires Chris Horn’s Cloudsmith

17 Jul 2013

Entrepreneur and investor Chris Horn

Cloudsmith, an open source software company co-founded and chaired by Irish tech entrepreneur Chris Horn, has been acquired by Oregon-based software player Puppet Labs for an undisclosed sum.

Cloudsmith’s mission is to make it easier and faster to build software across dispersed teams using open source lifecycle platforms, like Puppet Labs using its core software tools Stack Hammer and Gepetto.

Indeed, true to its mission Cloudsmith was run virtually with Horn operating out of Dublin, CEO and co-founder Mitch Sonies operating out of New York with other members of the team based in Canada, Sweden, and the Czech Republic.

Puppet Labs is a privately held software company headquartered in Portland, Oregon, and its technology partners include Cisco, VMware, Amazon Web Services, OpenStack, Eucalyptus, Rightscale and Zenoss.

Earlier this year, VMware invested US$30m in Puppet Labs, bringing total investment in the company so far to US$45.5m, including investors Cisco and Google Ventures.

Horn, along with Colin Newman and Sean Baker, started their middleware company Iona from a small corner in Trinity College Dublin’s computer science department in the early 1990s.

Iona became the second ever Irish technology company to go public on the NASDAQ exchange, the fifth largest IPO in NASDAQ history at that time, raising US$137m in the process.

At its peak in 2000, Iona, which was leading the world in the development of middleware for large enterprises, was worth US$1.75bn and had an annual turnover in excess of US$100m.

Iona was sold in 2008 for US$162m to US firm Progress Software.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years